Episode 168 - Dr. Lisa Butler and Janice Carello: Potentially Perilous Pedagogies: Teaching Trauma Is Not the Same as Trauma-Informed Teaching

Monday, May 25, 2015, 10:59:56 AM

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The prevalence data is significant: many students have had exposure to traumatic experiences. In this episode, Lisa Butler and Janice Carello describe a trauma-informed framework for teaching and education. They discuss the importance of recognizing the risks that exposure to trauma poses to students' academic success and the need for emotional safety in the learning environment.

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Average Rating: 5stars  trauma informed educational practice , Monday, February 01, 2016

By Kim M. :

This discussion on trauma informed educational practice is very important and relevant. Lisa Butler and Janice Carello discuss the reality that the majority of students have had some sort of trauma exposure. They touch on the importance of recognizing the vulnerabilities of students in order to enhance learning instead of impeding it. They talk about how people who have faced trauma can be re traumatized while learning about trauma. They also discuss secondary trauma, which refers to being exposed to trauma through someone else’s stories. Because trauma is a fact of life in this field, there is no way to avoid it. Being trauma informed is more about teaching trauma effectively; not protecting people from it. It is about reducing barriers so that students can be successful. It is about creating a safe space so that trauma victims can thrive and learn how to handle trauma, as it will be a fact of their career. This is particularly important in the social work field because many students are drawn to the field because they themselves have experienced trauma.
This is important because trauma can affect student’s memory, cognition, sleep, appetite, attention, and it can trigger negative forms of consolation such as substance abuse. This in turn affects student GPAs and drop out rates.
Lisa Butler and Janice Carello speak on how teachers can practice trauma informed education. Some suggestions are to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of trauma, acknowledge resilience, review content, warn about content that might trigger PTSD symptoms, check in, and teach self-care. They acknowledge that these suggestions may not work in every teaching situation.
I am left wondering about how we as social workers can advocate for trauma informed education in elementary education as well.

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Average Rating: 5stars  true trauma talk, Sunday, January 31, 2016

By Mary Galante :

I was very pleased with the discussion of trauma-informed teaching offered by Lisa Butler and Janice Carello. Their well-educated and informative take on the area of trauma addressed many areas of interest I have acquired as a student as well as a school social work intern. Offering that both students and instructors arrive in classroom settings with previous trauma, trauma-informed teaching is not about treating or avoiding trauma. Rather, the practice is focused on acknowledging, preparing and altering settings and structures within the classroom. An important and strong take away from this interview is this distinction. Allowing for an understanding from individuals of diverse educational backgrounds, Butler and Carello offer knowledgeable definitions for terms of trauma, retraumatization, vicarious or secondary trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the idea of complex trauma. A clear distinction of each term and its relevance to the topic are presented throughout. Through personal experiences, both women paint a picture for the importance of understanding and applying this concept in an educational setting from two varying experiences. These experiences, though unique, offer a relatable platform for listeners. Additionally, common misconceptions and taboo areas are addressed in an educational manner using clarification and suggestions for practice. Consistent with other talks on trauma and trauma informed care Butler and Carello address the restructuring of confronting areas of trauma from asking, “what is wrong” to “what has happened to you” Along with suggestions for reducing retraumatization and vicarious trauma is the advocacy of applying this practice for the organization as a whole. The importance of trauma-informed teaching was laid out for students, instructors and faculty/staff. With that, I would recommend this podcast for individuals of each role to obtain a level of understanding for various roles within an organization.

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Average Rating: 4stars  the power of tiny bits of information, Saturday, January 30, 2016

By David Youhess :

Lisa Butler and Janice Carello's do an excellent job translating the principles of Trauma Informed Care into both general precepts and concrete recommendations for what they call trauma informed teaching. Academics may wonder whether such recommendations may seek to pose a limitation to academic freedom or serve to simply shield students from learning about traumatic encounters, yet Butler and Carello are clear in their distinction that trauma-informed teaching is not about “avoiding upset” or altogether removing traumatic material from the curriculum. Rather, they insist trauma-informed teaching is about cultivating an awareness around the fact that all classrooms likely contain students with a trauma history and that therefore one should be mindful about how they teach trauma. By embedding their discussion within this context and the broader consideration for learning outcomes and student persistence, Butler and Carello advance their discussion beyond the scope of mere social etiquette to include genuine consequences for student mental health and other outcomes. I was pleased when Butler and Carello got specific in their recommendations for how professors may be trauma informed in their approach to the classroom and this brief listen will certainly offer ideas to instructors. Not only would I recommend this podcast for instructors; students too would be served by better understanding what it means to be trauma-informed in the classroom and what expectations they should have of professors as a result.

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DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.